We Always Have A Reason For Hope!
Because Jesus is King! He’s Emmanuel-God with us, not God far from us, but God always-present, never leaving us.
This doesn’t mean we will never walk through the valley of the shadow of death; it just means death is only a shadow.
The 23rd Psalm proclaims the gospel of a Good Shepherd who is always looking after His sheep. Let this passage reshape your perspective when hopelessness, death, sickness or sin appear bigger than the Good Shepherd.
Biblical hope is not wishful thinking. Rather, it’s a renewed mind, thinking from God’s perspective. It’s trusting in the good news of a good God no matter what shadow of darkness or valley of death appears before you.
How good is the gospel you believe? The gospel of the kingdom always brings hope because Jesus is the gospel. Jesus is our hope. He is the resurrection and the life. The gospel is to be good news, proclaimed and demonstrated, meaning we get to reflect Christ in us, the hope of glory, and put Him on display that all may see and look to the Good Shepherd of our souls.
What we believe about Jesus and the hope he has given will be reflected in our words and actions. If your words and actions aren’t displaying the nature of Jesus found in the gospels, then look to Jesus and be renewed by what Jesus did and is doing. He brings the hope.
We’ve been given a mission: to carry out His mission! That mission pushes back the works of darkness by healing the sick and comforting the afflicted and dying, reminding them of the hope we have in Christ. We will all get sick; we will all die. As hope-filled believers, we are to see the gospel displayed with signs and wonders of an amazing God. This is to be the normal Christian life.
Jesus is the resurrection and life. Consider Jesus with his friend Lazarus. When the news of Lazarus’s death came, Jesus said, “He is only sleeping.” He also wept. Why would he weep? I believe it is because, in his humanity, He experienced the pain of Lazarus’s death and also empathized with Lazarus’s family and other friends. Hope is not avoiding the pain or grief of loss.
If Jesus wept even though he was the resurrection, then we must allow ourselves to weep and grieve, letting others and the Holy Spirit comfort us. Jesus then raised Lazarus from death, and part of our commissioning in the kingdom according to Matthew 10 is to even raise the dead.
Don’t shrink back from that commissioning just because death has come. However, our hope is not in healing or in the raising of the dead. Although Lazarus was raised from the dead, Lazarus still died a second time. Our hope is in the healer, the resurrection-Jesus!
Death for us is still only a shadow. There’s always hope because of Jesus. The Kingdom has come, so display the good news of the kingdom by healing the sick, pushing back darkness, even raising the dead as the Holy Spirt leads and empowers you.
Know this: the kingdom is coming. No matter. Because Jesus is ruling over all, and death is just a shadow because Jesus is the resurrection and the hope of all.
We will live in conflict, tension, and war in this life, and we are also called to display the Hope of the Kingdom JESUS!